When I should have been doing many other things, I decided all the chores could wait and it was time for me to make new trousers. I’ve practiced the ‘Stretch Chino’ pattern a couple of times. First HERE and they were a bit big. Then HERE and they were a much better fit. Now I’m making full length trousers.
I’m still following the instructions from my Japanese sewing book ‘Men’s Clothes For All Seasons’. Last time I found the order of construction to have a really nice flow to it and I liked constructing the fly after the two trouser legs are complete.
As I’ve been blogging a lot about trousers, I thought I’d just focus on the waistband construction in this post. So, in a slightly different order to the book (… I just can’t help myself…!) this is how I got there…
- Front pockets.
- Back pockets.
By this point it was starting to get dark outside and I was eager to get on with the waistband. In my haste I didn’t try them on. The last pair fit perfectly and these were the same. I’d be fine (… maybe you can see where this is going…?)
- Make the beltloops.
I have a 4 cm wide strip which I press in half lengthways. Then, open up & press the edges into the centre. Then fold & press in half.
Using the edgestitch foot and the needle nudged over 2 or 3 mm, I edgestitch the open side first then the folded edge.
I cut them to equal lengths, mark the wrong sides, as I’m in artificial light now. Put a dab of fraycheck on both ends & leave them to dry.
- Prepare the waistband.
Fold and press 1.3cm on one long edge. Mark in the stitching line on the other edge
Fold and press in the middle with the inner seam fold just over the stitching line.
- Baste the beltloops.
Pin and baste the beltloops, 1cm either side of centre back.
2.5 cm behind the side seam…
And I eyeball the front as the fly stitching makes it all look off centre if I measure it.
- Attach the waistband.
Pin the waistband all the way around and stitch along the marked line. Press the seams up towards the band.
Fold the band right sides together and stitch in line with the edge of the waistband (to create the corner). To keep things neat inside, I cheat the corner of the folded side up a bit so that it tucks in neatly when I turn it over.
Clip the corner and clip the top of the Zip before turning over.
And the edges come out nice and sharp…
Stitch in the ditch from the front to secure the inside of the band. Hide your stitches in the seam line.
- Finish the beltloops.
Using the foot as a guide, sew the beltloops about 1cm below the waistband (this is also in the pic above.)
Fold over the loose edges, line them up with the top of the waistband and edgestitch in place.
Mark & sew the buttonhole. This usually goes pretty badly with me. I think the bulk in the seams stops the buttonhole foot from moving correctly. I was really careful trimming everything away this time. And I think using a cheap plastic zipper has really helped. Either way, the button hole went really well this time.
And when I attached the button, I even remembered to use a pin in my button foot to give it a bit of room.
- So then just the hems to go…
This is where I tried them on. I’d marked an extra 5cm for the hem, but could only afford to take them up by 1cm. But the fit… snug to say the least..!
The first pair I had made out of stretch twill. The second pair were linen so had more give in them than I’d accounted for. This pair have no stretch at all and I can just about get them on. Thankfully I had prevwashed & tumbledried the fabric and ironed it with plenty of steam so they shouldn’t shrink any more. They’re the neatest pair of trousers I’ve made so far, I’ve decided to skip a few lunches and wear them anyway. I’m still hoping that they give a little through wearing too…
Notes to self:
- Check the fabric requirements: stretch/ no stretch.
- TRY THEM ON! I could have gained that all important cm or so at the back seam.
- Maybe sew the side seams at 1cm instead of 1.5… look into this. (If only I hadn’t overlocked them & topstitched them down!)
- I’ve just got on with entering all our details on makemypattern.com so hopefully no more fitting issues, watch this space…!
Belt loops – you can save a lot of time in one of two ways :
(1) Use a bias-binding maker to help with the folding, then continue as before. A set of four bias-binding makers of different widths comes to six or seven quid with postage. You can pay more but don’t need to.
(2) Overlock the raw strip into a tube, then ram a biro or similar down the inside to open out the seam, then press flat. For fabrics that hold a good crease, edge-stitching is optional. (Did I mention this before? – I’ve certainly told someone recently)
Hi, thanks for the tips. Funnily enough, I ordered a bias making set from eBay and they never turned up.
For the overlock method to you have to change the stitch/ tensions or go with the regular settings? I keep meaning to try this out.
Next trousers, I should start with the beltloops!
I overlock with regular settings, but mine is a 2-thread machine. If yours is a 3- or 4-thread machine, then I think you need to thread it up with just two threads, otherwise the seam won’t open out. When in doubt, RTFM!
Hi thanks for the tips. I’ve actually ordered a bias binding kit ages ago from eBay… it never came…?!
I’ve been meaning to try the overlocker technique, do you have to change the settings?